Is it worth getting fitted for running shoes? The short answer is: yes! There are so many issues that can arise from getting your running shoes online it is difficult to know where to start.
How do you know if your shoes will fit?
If you know which running shoes, make and model you have used in the past, there is absolutely no guarantee that a new model will feel the same, fit the same or give you the same support that you enjoyed in the previous model.
Every year the shoe companies bring out new models; sometimes it is just a little tweak that happens, at other times the shoe can be changed beyond recognition, while still often looking similar.
From year to year:
the general fit of the shoe can change
the size can change
the support and stability can change
The same model, but in a different colour and sometimes even in the same colour can be a different size, probably because they are made in a different factory.
There is a strong likelihood of you having to send shoes back and forth until you have the right size.
Even if it were possible for you to get the same shoe year in, year out, it might well not be the correct one for you. For example, if you have increased your cross training, started doing pilates or yoga or if you have been working on your running form, you could need a less structured shoe. Alternatively, if you are coming back to running after a break in your fitness regime you, could well need a different model from before.
How do you know if you have the correct support?
This is probably the main problem with buying running shoes online. The risk of getting injured and then having to see a physio is very high. The running action, especially on the pavement is incredibly repetitive and if the shoes are not quite correct, they will generally start to cause you problems sooner or later. But generally, people don't think it's the shoes that are causing the problems.
“I’ve been getting a sore knee, I think it's my age, I had an MRI scan, I had an X-ray, I've been to the doctor, he says my knee is fine.”
We hear all this so much. If this is your problem too, bring your shoes into the shop and we will look and see what is happening when you are running. Usually it is not YOUR age that is the problem but your shoe's age!
The limitations of online reviews
How can you know by reading the review of a shoe if it is all pertinent for you? How can you know if the person who wrote the review needs the same type of shoe as you do or has a similar shape of foot? If it is a rave review then it is a good shoe for that person, but not necessarily for you.
At Run and Become we have a vast array of different shoe models. Each brand uses different cushioning and technologies, so will feel, fit and support you differently. Without comparison, you won’t know what you like best. Of course it is good to read reviews and be inspired by them, but you definitely have to check and find out if a particular shoe works for you.
A comparison with in-store service
When you come into one of our stores we do a few tests to find out what type of shoes might be most suitable. Then with Natural Gait Analysis we will watch you running in several different shoe models, helping you find the one that fits best, supports best and feels best from our wide range of shoes.
It is so important to be able compare the fit and feel of different shoes and find which suits you best. Obviously, none of this is possible when you buy your shoes online.
We also give you advice on how to break the shoes in as well as other general training advice from how to start running right up to people needing advice in their first Ultra or marathon.
If you really cannot make it to a store, as a second-best option, we offer Online Gait Analysis. Unless you really know what will work for you, this is so much better than taking a guess! :-)